South Korea Express
Category: Asian Tours
Duration: 5 days 4 nights
Itinerary: Seoul – Gwangju – Busan – Gyeongju – Wonju – Seoul
Day 1: Seoul – Gongju – Buyeo – Gwangju
Meet your guide in central Seoul, and relax on the journey south while learning about your day’s itinerary. Much of your first day is spent focused on the era of the Baekje kingdom, when the Baekje dynasty ruled an area that formed part of the ancient Three Kingdoms of Korea.
Your first stop is the city of Gongju to visit the burial site of a notable Baekje ruler, the Tomb of King Muryeong, as well as Gongsanseong Fortress, a mountaintop castle that dates back to the Baekje days.
In the nearby city of Buyeo, head inside Baekje Cultural Land to see a palace, castle and cultural hall, and then take a ferry to Goransa Temple and the Nakhwaam Cliff (the boat ride is subject to a small surcharge, payable to your guide on the day). Learn about the fascinating history surrounding the sites, such as one legend that says some 3,000 Baekje ladies ran into the river to avoid capture when the kingdom finally fell.
With your head full of newfound knowledge, travel on to Jeonju Hanok village to see hundreds of traditional Korean houses, known as hanoks. After wandering the streets with your guide, make your last journey of the day to Gwangju, where your hotel awaits.
Day 2: Gwangju – Suncheon – Yeosu (B)
Start with a visit to Gwangju National Museum, which showcases historical artifacts from Korea's old Jeolla province. See an array of pottery and other relics that date back to the Paleolithic era. Then continue your journey to Bosung Green Tea Plantation in Suncheon. An impressive site, the plantation cultivates a large proportion of South Korea’s ubiquitous green tea, and its rolling green fields and famous cedar trees make for a scenic stroll.
Next, visit the nearby Suncheon Bay Garden, a protected ecological area that's home to wetlands, wildflowers and beautiful reed fields. The scenery from the hilltop is famed in South Korea, so have your camera at hand to capture the views. Later in the afternoon, travel further south to the port city of Yeosu and enjoy a brief tour of the fish market. Check into your hotel, and then head out for a little night sightseeing at the city’s large industrial complex.
Day 3: Yeosu – Busan – Gyeongju (B)
In the morning, head to Jinjuseong, an intriguing castle-turned-fortress in the nearby town of Jinju. While walking around, hear how the monument was linked to a Japanese invasion in the late 1500s, and explore the different military buildings within, such as the Chokseongmun edifice.
From Jinju, travel east to Busan for a tour of the Jagalchi market, one of South Korea’s largest fish markets. Wander past its heaving stalls, checking out vast amounts of live and dried seafood of all different kinds. While not a typical tourist attraction, the market offers eye-opening insight into East Asian seafood in South Korea.
Having explored the market with your guide, head to Haeundae Beach, one of the country’s most renowned stretches of sand where you can enjoy a stroll. Then relax on the drive north to Gyeongju to check into your hotel.
Day 4: Gyeongju – Andong – Wonju (B)
Take a morning city tour of Gyeongju to get your bearings, and visit two of its UNESCO-listed sites. Enter Bulguksa Temple to admire its incredible stone relics and historical pagodas, and pay a visit to the famous Seokguram Grotto with its monumental Buddha — a statue widely considered to be a masterpiece of Far Eastern Buddhist art. (Entry to the grotto is at your own expense.)
From Gyeongju, travel north to Andong, and spend some time at Hahoe Folk Village, where the architecture and village structure of the Joseon dynasty has been meticulously preserved. See traditional houses with mud walls and thatched roofs, and learn about the community that still lives in the village today.
In the late afternoon, return to your coach for the journey to Wonju, a city that was the capital of Gangwon Province for roughly 500 years during the days of the Joseon dynasty. Check into your hotel and relax overnight.
Day 5: Wonju – Mt Seorak National Park – Seoul (B)
Leave Wonju in the morning and head east to Pyeongchang, site of the eagerly awaited 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The ski jump is a highlight of the site; if you want to see it, you can hop aboard the monorail for an up-close view (own expense).
From Pyeongchang, travel onward to Seongyojang, a city wedged between the Eastern Sea and the mountains. Gaze out at pine forests and sandy beaches from the comfort of your coach, and pass the Seongyojang Folklore Materials Pavilion, a mansion typical of nobility during the late Joseon dynasty.
In the afternoon, travel through the stunning landscapes of Mt Seorak National Park. The park is often cited as South Korea’s most famous, and it’s easy to see why as you marvel at the peaks of the Seoraksan Mountains piercing the sky and admire streams running through the valleys. The best way to appreciate the site’s beauty is from the hillside; if you wish, ride the cable car up to Gwongeumseong Fortress on the side of Dol Mountain. Soak up the views at the top, and visit Sinheungsa Temple, if you'd like. (Cable car and temple entry are at your own expense.)
Finally, relax on the 4-hour return journey to Seoul. Your 5-day tour finishes back at the original starting point in the evening.
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For more information on this tour, please contact us at:
- Head Office: Suite 706, No.142 Le Duan Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi, Vietnam
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cell phone: (+84).22.214.171.1246
- Phone: (+84).243.516.00.88-518.00.88
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